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Commentary

Fox Reporter Brings Up Kanye's Mental Health After He Supports Trump

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“And our p***** ain’t for grabbing. They’re for reminding you that our walls are stronger than America’s ever will be…They are for birthing new generations of filthy, vulgar, nasty, proud, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh, you name it, for new generations of nasty women. So if you a nasty woman, or you love one who is, let me hear you say, hell yeah.” — Ashley Judd, reading a “poem” at the Women’s March, Jan. 21, 2017.

“The actress Ashley Judd delivered an uninhibited speech that ended with her referencing how Mr. Trump bragged, in a 2005 recording, that he could use his celebrity status to force himself on women, even groping their private parts.” — The New York Times, Jan. 21, 2017.

“You don’t have to agree with trump but the mob can’t make me not love him. We are both dragon energy. He is my brother. I love everyone. I don’t agree with everything anyone does. That’s what makes us individuals. And we have the right to independent thought.” — Kanye West, Twitter, April 26, 2018.

“His tweetstorm called into question his mental health status.” — Fox News, April 26, 2018.

Right.

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Yes, as you’ve no doubt heard, Kanye West tweeted his support for President Trump and all hell broke loose. The media is now claiming that Kanye is either crazy or racist, or possibly both. In fact, probably both.

African-American-oriented publication The Root, referencing Kanye’s anti-George W. Bush screed in 2005, wrote an article called “Kanye West Doesn’t Like Black People.”

Slate Magazine, apparently trying to revive that whole #slatepitches hashtag thing, came up with “Kanye isn’t crazy, he’s just privileged, like Donald Trump.” And then, in the subheadline, they called Kanye a “grandiose narcissist,” which last I checked is an amateur diagnosis of mental illness. In other words, they entirely negated the rather facile thesis statement of the piece before an actual word had been written in the body of it.

CNN ran a piece called “Kanye only cares about himself … just like Trump.” They also ran a piece talking about how those around Kanye were “dismiss(ing)” speculation about his “erratic” behavior — which was a very thinly-veiled pretext for talking about his “erratic” behavior without directly accusing him of being mentally ill, which would be ethically questionable.

Do you think Kanye West is mentally ill?

Fox News, continuing its slow drift to the left, didn’t even give Yeezy that luxury. In a piece on the Kanye tweets, reporter Carley Shimkus gave us the quote at the beginning of the piece and referenced Kanye’s 2016 hospitalization for stress and exhaustion. (This had been preceded by a meltdown on stage in which he dissed Obama, Jay-Z and Beyonce and compared himself to Trump.)

Now, it’s worth pointing out that those around Kanye — including his wife Kim Kardashian and collaborator Chance the Rapper — are defending him vigorously against any sort of implication that his political beliefs have any connection to any form of mental illness.

Kardashian’s reference to a “sunken place,” it’s worth noting, is a reference to a tweet Kanye made from his house which was itself a reference to the movie “Get Out;” without going into a laborious description of the plot, it involves black people essentially having their bodies (but not their minds) stolen, leaving them looking slumbering and lobotomized. Several memes have capitalized on Kanye looking like or being in this state.

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It’s worth pointing out that neither Kim nor Chance are likely listed on the subscription rolls of National Review. While Chance the Rapper has given shout-outs to God and has said he identifies as neither Democrat nor Republican, his previous statements on social media can’t exactly be called conservative. Kardashian — like most people whose body of experience with the real world has to be measured via electron spectroscopy — is an ardent Democrat.

Now, to be clear here, I don’t particularly care about Kanye’s tweets beyond their interest as a cultural artifact. While I’m always secretly fascinated about celebrities who might be covert conservatives or libertarians, I generally hold about as much stock in what they say as I do liberal celebs who decide to tell us what they think.

There are a few exceptions; Clint Eastwood was a mayor, after all, and seems to have studied public policy and social movements with some passion, and James Woods has used social media to turn himself into a brilliant conservative situationist. However, while I’ll admit to being an on-and-off Kanye admirer (depending on how self-indulgent his latest album is) I’m not terribly interested in the political beliefs of the man who once wrote the couplet “In a French-a** restaurant / hurry up with my damn croissant!”

However, for a media that fawns upon every celebrity who expresses their rage at Donald Trump, it’s only a man who cooly and rationally explains why he’s not necessarily against the president (albeit with a little “dragon energy” mixed in there — this is Kanye, after all) that gets accused of mental illness.

Madonna talks about blowing up the White House? She’s expressing herself! Miley Cyrus posts a video of herself weeping over Trump’s victory? Bravery! A true wrecking ball! Kathy Griffin holding up the bloodied, effigial head of the president? Can’t you guys take a joke? Kanye West likes Trump? Someone check this guy into Promises Malibu!

And, as for whether Kanye has previously had mental illness — well, so? It’s not like you have one (or two, or several) episodes of mental illness and suddenly you can’t have political opinions or have them taken seriously. That’s ridiculous. There are, in fact, very few cases in which previous mental illness should factor into how we view your politics.

If you’re Thomas Eagleton and your undisclosed history of possible alcoholism and electroshock therapy wasn’t known to Democrat nominee George McGovern when he picked you as his running mate back in 1972, yes, that’s a problem. We should probably talk about your mental illness.

If you’re Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and your bipolar disorder and depression caused you to embezzle hundreds of thousands of dollars from taxpayers until you’re arrest a few years back, again, that’s a problem. We should probably talk about your mental illness.

If you’re a rapper working on an album named after an obscure (if awesome) 1990s video game system and you make a few tweets about Donald Trump but you might have had an anxiety-induced breakdown or some other condition a few years back, no, that’s not a problem. We don’t need to talk about your mental illness.

I will point one thing out in closing, though:

I haven’t heard a single person in the media refute this statement. This is probably the most explosive of Kanye’s tweets — and yet, instead of addressing it, they just call him insane. I don’t think that’s particularly coincidental.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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